Allergic Rhinitis or hay fever is the most common type of allergy. It can be seasonal, such as spring and fall, or it can be year long. Symptoms include sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, watery eyes, and itchy throat. If you have year long hay fever, then you are probably allergic to something indoors such as dust, mold, or pet dander. Seasonal hay fever is usually caused by pollens, ragweed, and mold outside. What can you do to lessen your symptoms?
- Cut down on pet dander by keeping pets out of the bedroom.
- Vacuum carpets frequently or replace carpets with tile, hardwood, or linoleum.
- Wash bedding weekly in hot water and dry in a dryer to kill dust mites.
- Use allergen-proof covers on mattresses, box springs, and pillows.
- Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to keep the humidity levels low in your house.
- Wear a mask when dusting or vacuuming.
- Use an air filter in house to eliminate pollen from the air. Keep the windows and doors shut during the allergy season.
- Repair indoor and outdoor leaks to cut down on molds.
- Avoid going outside between 10 AM to 4PM when allergens are high. Mold and pollen levels are high during wind storms or try wearing a mask if you must be outside.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from pollen.
There are over the counter medications that can help relive some symptoms such as, nasal sprays, antihistamines, and decongestants. Some are not recommended while driving and others have potential but mild side effects.